Secondhand Smoke Exposure in a Rural High School

Kiyoung Lee, Ellen J. Hahn, Carol A. Riker, Amber Hoehne, Ashleigh White, Devin Greenwell, Dyshel Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Although federal law requires all public schools to be smoke free, lack of compliance with the smoke-free policy is commonly reported. The aims of this study were to describe the indoor fine-particle (PM2.5) air pollution in a rural high school and surrounding public venues. This cross-sectional, nonexperimental study was conducted in Monroe County, Kentucky (population of 11,756). Fine-particle concentrations were measured in the high school and 5 public venues using spectrometers. Because of illegal student smoking, PM2.5 concentrations were 19 times higher in the boys’ student restroom than the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for outdoor air (670 vs. 35 μg/m3). The staff restrooms adjacent to the student restroom where staff did not smoke also showed high PM2.5 levels. Average indoor air pollution in the public venues was 158 μg/m3. Strict enforcement of smoke-free school policy and cessation resources are needed to reduce secondhand smoke exposure. Collaborative school-community campaigns involving parents, students, mass media, and community organizations may be effective in reducing the harm caused by tobacco. Implications for school nurses are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-228
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of School Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was partially funded through a contract between the College of Nursing, University of Kentucky, and the Monroe County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy Board.


  • fine particle exposure enforcement
  • school
  • secondhand smoke
  • smoke-free policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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